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Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the general law of contract and tort in England and Wales as applied to construction projects, disputes and dispute resolution.

Module name

Construction Law

Module code






Programme start month and year


Assignment due time and date


Pass mark


Word count


*for further information see the Word count and overwriting section.

All assignments must be submitted online in the module area of the VLE. The assignment submission link opens 21 days before the due date. Please refer to the information provided in the ‘Assessment preparation’ week for submission guidance.

Submission of assignments

NOTE: Postal submissions will not be accepted

Learning outcomes





Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the general law of contract and tort in England and Wales as applied to construction projects, disputes and dispute resolution.



Evaluate the effectiveness of specific construction contract clauses the methods of extending and limiting professional liability and the obligations, rights and remedies of the commissioning party.



Analyse, investigate and solve legal problems on construction projects by identifying the relevant legal principles and presenting logical conclusions using relevant legal terminology.



Assess the effectiveness of the various methods of dispute resolution commonly used by the construction industry and identify situations where professional legal advisers should be involved.

The learning outcomes shown in bold text are fully covered by this assignment. The other outcomes are partially covered.’

Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the general law of contract and tort in England and Wales as applied to construction projects, disputes and dispute resolution.


Galba Developments is the commercial development entity created by the largest pension fund in Nusquam. It is progressing a project to redevelop a large brownfield site in Cloacarius, a run-down port on the coast of Nusquam. The scheme is extensive and involves the creation of new port facilities, a storage and distribution centre and new housing. In addition new road and rail links are being created to improve the accessibility of Cloacarius from other parts of Nusquam. All planning and feasibility has been undertaken and approved.

For historical reasons, the law of England and Wales is the law that applies in Nusquam.

A team of highly experienced consultants have been assembled. Your role is as project manager for the development on behalf of Galba Developments.

You can use any standard form of building contract with which you are familiar for the purposes of your submission. The contract you have selected should remain the same throughout the task and should be named at the outset. It need not be the same form of contract as you selected for the purposes of your submission in respect of Assignment 1.

The development is around two thirds complete, however, issues have arisen with the contractor responsible for the construction of the new rail freight terminal in Cloacarius and with the contractor responsible for the design and construction of one of the new residential buildings on the waterfront adjacent to the new port facilities.

The first issue is the allegation that items necessary for the completion of the rail freight terminal works have not been included in the client’s design and specification documents included in the contract. The contractor is seeking additional payment for these items.

The second issue relates to an emerging dispute that is the result of a breakdown in the relationship between Galba Developments and its contractor for the waterfront residential building. The point in issue in is the aesthetic quality of the works. In order to preserve its design vision for the building Galba Developments novated the architect it had appointed to the contractor at the time it entered into the design and build contract for the works. However, ever since the works started on site Galba Developments has been of the view that the contractor through its choice of materials and selection of sub-contractors has evidenced an intention to do the least it needs to do in order to deliver the project rather than striving for excellence; a point of view reinforced by its perception that the contractor is ignoring the design detail suggestions of the architect. The contractor has denied it is not trying to do its best to achieve a high standard and has also made it clear that its intention is to comply not only with the ‘letter of the contract’ but also its spirit. It has however also stated that it believes the client has unrealistic expectations given the contract sum and duration.

This conflict is becoming a matter of increasing significance for Galba Developments because the project will shortly be entering the stage at which internal finishings and other features will begin to be procured and Galba Developments will begin marketing the scheme more widely. Its intention is to market the scheme as a prestigious waterfront residential complex but it believes this aim is being imperilled by the actions of the contractor.


Using a report format, Galba Developments has asked you to prepare:

  1. advice in which you critically appraise its obligations in respect of the first issue based on analysis of the standard form contract in use. It has also asked you to ensure you include in your advice an analysis of what its obligations would be if the contract did not contain provisions that dealt with this matter (in other words if the common law position applied).
  2. advice as to how it should seek to resolve the conflict it has with the contractor (the second issue). Galba Developments is aware of the numerous dispute resolution methods available to it as an alternative to arbitration or litigation and is seeking your reasoned advice as to which you believe would be the best approach to use in the present situation irrespective of the dispute resolution mechanism stipulated in its contract with the contractor. When providing your advice Galba Developments has asked you to make clear why you have rejected use of methods other than that you have put forward.

Reference list and bibliography

Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the general law of contract and tort in England and Wales as applied to construction projects, disputes and dispute resolution.

You should include a reference list with a minimum of eight separate relevant and appropriate sources (in addition to UCEM sources) that you have written about and cited within your work.

A bibliography of uncited sources is not required.

Further information to support you with this assignment is available within the study materials for this module on the UCEM VLE. If you have any questions about this assignment, please contact your Module Tutor or Module Leader via the VLE

Marking guidance for this activity

This guidance is designed to help you to do as well as possible in your assessments by explaining how the person marking your work will be judging it.

Your work will be assessed in relation to the requirements set out in the assessment criteria marking guide at the end of this document and the grading guidance section below.

It is recommended that you read both of these sections before starting your assessment to learn what will help you to achieve the highest marks. Once you have finished you should review the assessment before submitting it, to check you have done what is required to achieve the highest marks.

When you receive your feedback from your tutor you should clearly be able to see which categories you gained marks in and, where relevant, recommendations about how to improve your performance going forward.

Grading guidance

This grading guidance section explains in more detail what a submission for this assessment should include in order to achieve a mark at the threshold, good and excellent standards.


You will have have given information that is sufficiently relevant and addressed all requirements of the tasks .

You will have included:

For part a), A reasonable Ccritical analysis of the obligations of the client under the contract and in law supported by citation of relevant contract provisions and cases.in law.

For part b), A reasonable critical analyses and justification of the route that you believe to be suitable for the dispute described.


You will have met the criteria for Threshold and …

Communication will be mostly relevant to the task; limited omissions or irrelevance and few spelling or grammatical errors;

Your knowledge and understanding of the task will be clear and explained adequately; Competent selection of references will be demonstrated, there will be few references beyond the academic citations;

The development of critical arguments will be sustained throughout with clear links between arguments;

Insight should be demonstrated that goes beyond the core sources with good evaluation.

For part a), relevant legal cases should be cited and analysed to demonstrate a proper understanding of the relevant law and operation of the relevant provisions of the form of contract chosen.

For part b), the analysis will examine more fully the comparative merits of the available methods given the context of the conflict between the parties


You will have met the criteria for Good and

… Your structure will be entirely focussed on the task with a completely logical flow throughout; There will be nothing that is not relevant within the answer;

Referencing is likely to exceed the minimum 8 peer reviewed sources (in addition to UCEM sources) and should be completely in accordance with UCEM Harvard format;

Analysis should be clear and competent with clear and sustained arguments throughout; Insight and evaluation of all sources and points should be clear.

For part a), there should be several relevant legal cases cited and analysed sufficient to demonstrate a clear understanding of the relevant law and operation of the relevant provisions of the form of contract chosen.

For part b), the analysis will reflect on the underlying nature of conflicts and use the findings of that analysis to inform the selection of the preferred method.

Word count and overwriting

Exceeding 10% of the stated word count may limit the marks allocated for communication (see assessment criteria marking guide below). Word count is not referred to in the assessment criteria.

The following table outlines the inclusions and exclusions in the word count of the most common features of assessed pieces of work.




Executive summary/abstract

Main body

Title page/front cover


Contents List

In text citations


Words in tables



List of references



Headings and titles, except for those explicitly excluded


The total number of words used must be stated on the first page of your assessment.


Plagiarising someone else’s work, whether copying from the internet, UCEM study materials, a textbook, a fellow student or elsewhere, is a serious offence. Before you submit your work for assessment, you must check it to ensure that you have fully cited within the text all the sources of information you have used and that all your sources are listed in a reference section at the end of your submission. Quoted text must not be excessive in length. You will find guidance on correct citing and referencing in The UCEM Guide to Referencing and Citation in the e-Library on the VLE.

Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the general law of contract and tort in England and Wales as applied to construction projects, disputes and dispute resolution.

Be aware that your work will be checked using text-matching software. The ‘Turnitin’ software is as much for your benefit as ours at UCEM. You can use it to check that all your citations have a matching reference, and review any highlighted text that may not be original and requires a reference.

A high text-matching result could indicate plagiarism. If plagiarism is identified, this could result in a penalty ranging from a loss of marks to exclusion from your programme.

Note: Please use the assignment referencing link to check the originality of your work before submitting it.

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